Progress – March 2019

At first, it was a relief not to do the weekly progress blogs. I could put the words to my story instead. I was kind of glad that I had released myself from that self-imposed obligation.

Then, over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been missing them. Not doing them weekly, but the chat I had here. It was a time when I could talk to myself about what had gone on — granted, a very public chat, like talking to yourself while walking down the street. *grin*

I decided I would like to resume it, but on a monthly schedule. I hope you will like that too.

March has been busy. I’ve spent a lot of time at work, more than normal, which has taken me from my business. I can’t wait to get back to my usual routine there too. The weather has been good on a few weekends, so I’ve gotten some yard work done. Feels weird to be getting to it before May. Right now, I’m sitting outside in the sunlight with my dogs. It’s good as long as someone doesn’t come along walking their dog. Merlin doesn’t handle people or dogs (or anything not part of “the pack” very well). I’ve also been doing some work with vibration toned music in order to increase my energy (because I found that sunlight wasn’t doing enough as it usually does to brighten my spirits). I will say that I’m very glad I decided to give it a try. Normally I’d be all like, “Yes, everything is energy and vibration is nothing but a waveform energy. I don’t think different frequencies is going to help at all.” Let me just say that it does. I am feeling much better, much more relaxed and vibrant. I’ve also gotten back to meditation. All while getting words done.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been spending very much time with audio. I’m lucky if I get 10-15 minutes a day in, but I’ll take the baby steps.

I also haven’t gotten any painting or drawing done lately. Not for lack of trying here. I am back to arguing with myself about it. Long story short, I’d be better off if I’d just admit to myself that I don’t feel like drawing or painting at the moment and go and edit a story. Instead, I just waste time. Not minutes either. Like hours! It’s very frustrating. And I know the way out of it is action. Which only makes me angry at myself because I know just what needs to be done and I’m not doing any of it, or getting anything accomplished. The achiever in me hates that!

I need to take a moment and plan out my business for the next quarter, but that hasn’t happened yet. I’m wondering if I should go monthly with my planning as well. I haven’t made a decision about that yet either. This is one thing I know I need to do with thoughtfulness, not from the low-energy state where I’ve been. It’s best for me to wait for now.

Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Daily word goal reached for 233 days! Weekly word goal reached for 36 weeks.

Writing for the month of March: 24,635 words

Writing year to date total: 73,375 words

Drawing/painting for March: a few sketches – nothing to write home about.

Audio: About 8 and 1/2 hours recording and editing audio. I have lots of chapters started on editing, but I keep discovering lines that haven’t been recorded. Haven’t had time to get in the booth and get the missing lines recorded. Soon!

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Progress – February 25, 2019

Egads! Are we at the end of February already?

I had a good trip going and coming from Utah last week. Had some blowing snow across the road, but for the most part it was clear and dry.

Wizarding Dayz was a very family-friendly show. I did a lot of networking, met some great people, and got a cartoon done courtesy of Alex Lee Buie.

That dang dimple in my chin!

I met several writers I didn’t know before and look forward to getting to know them and their work better.

Wizarding Dayz is very Harry Potter themed, and I caught a couple wizards walking around.

Oh, and here was a shot of my booth:

I also found a stowaway among my books. Bob joined the adventure. Here he is here hiding behind Loki’s chair.

See his happy little grin? He was so pleased with himself. Just about as much as when he crashed my “vacation” when I went to a writers’ conference in Oregon. He’s such a freeloader! *grin*

At least it was only Kevin and myself going out for Chinese food at Chin Wah.

We also had dinner one night at Los Cucos, but I didn’t get any fantastic pictures of the food. Bummer. It was good. We were hungry.

I surprised myself and got my words done each day. On Friday I managed to get most of them in during the show; there just wasn’t a whole lot of traffic, so I used my time. I always figure that the fastest way to make people come up to my booth is to start to write. I get immersed and *poof* people come and pulling me out of it. Murphy’s Law. *grin* It’s just one of the many ways I hack the universe.

Earlier in the week, I finished editing Tangled Magic and got it to my reader. Yeah. I also got back on track with the audio, but I’m still not sure there’s not some I will have to throw out and re-record. I’m experimenting at this point.

As I’m writing this, I haven’t got any painting done yet, but I hope to change that soon. I want to get started on a new painting tonight (Sunday). There probably won’t be any new painting listed in my numbers below, unless I decide to do something small, but I really want to get to work on another large painting. We’ll see what I really do when I step up to the easel. I’m thinking about Mexican leftovers first.

Let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week:  4,618 words.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  957 words.

Daily word goal reached for 198 days! Weekly word goal reached for 31 weeks.

Writing month to date total:  20,513words

Writing year to date total: 45,677 words

Drawing/painting last week: None for this week.

Audio: About 2 hours editing audio.




Progress – January 21, 2019

Boy did I make my inner artist-child angry last week!

She got so mad at me that she hijacked the ship. Every time I went to get my words in, I felt her sticking her tongue out at me. I will share more about this later in the week. Trust me, my artist-child is such a brat!

I went over the weekend to Boise to watch the Dragon Ball: Broly movie. Certainly not as good as Spider Man: Into the Spider-verse, but it was fun to spend time with the boys. They also let me pop into Guitar Center so that I could play with some microphones. I found one I really liked. Now I can’t wait to get it hooked into my booth and get to working with it. I still have the second half of Oxygen to record before I do that though. I might keep my AKG mic and do character voices on it, but this new mic will be great for narration. I’m so excited.

It has taken me a week to get through the audio on the first part of Oxygen which I recorded last week, but I’ve been happy with the editing speed. It’s much more reasonable. The channel strip I added works well.

I’ve also been working on the edit for Tangled Magic. I haven’t gotten in time every morning, but since it’s a new habit, it’s taking time to get into place. As I had figured it would.

That’s really all I have for this week. Let’s look at the numbers.

Fiction words written last week:  2,914 words.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  2,533 words.

Daily word goal reached for 163 days! Weekly word goal reached for 26 weeks.

Writing month to date total:  16,020 words

Writing year to date total: 16,020 words

Drawing/painting last week: I only got in a little 5″x7″ painting. Better than nothing.

Audio: I spent 3 and a half hours editing audio.

Progress – January 7, 2019

I’ve spent the day working on a story called Alexander’s Den. I wrote the story a couple years ago and it spent all year in submission with a magazine I was hoping would publish it. The story was apparently very close, but not quite. They were kind enough to give me a few comments on it, so I’ve been looking at the story again in light of their comments. What I found was a whole bigger problem. I had actually fractured the story in many different directions, which makes their comments make sense. So I’m trying to cut away everything that isn’t part of the story.

My son also took me to see Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse today. What a brilliant use of the hero’s journey. They use so many elements and mix things up very well. Bravo!

Other than that, I’ve been trying to get words in and do some painting. I showed some paintings here last week. I did also work on more planning for 2019, built some spreadsheets, tinkered with the one that I use to log my production and time on, and set up other things to help me keep track of progress. Oh, and I worked on website items, including one for my audiobooks. That one isn’t anywhere near completed yet, so I can’t show it to you yet. Soon, hopefully.

Speaking of audiobooks, I’m throwing out all that I’ve recorded on Manifest the Magic. I bought a channel strip which, once it’s in, I need to add to my setup. I’m hoping it improves the mixed results I’m getting. I’m just not happy with what I’m getting because every now and then I get these metallic sounding artifacts. It’s kind of frustrating. Anyway, I hope this helps. My next option is to get a new microphone. Baby steps. Anyway, I thought that when I get the channel strip in and set up, I might try recording Oxygen just to see how it sounds. That should be short and fast. Then I can get back to Manifest the Magic.

Well now, let’s look at the numbers, shall we?

Fiction words written last week:  2,952 words.

Blogs/Newsletter articles/non-fiction written:  3,116 words.

Daily word goal reached for 149 days! Weekly word goal reached for 24 weeks.

Writing month to date total:  4,714 words

Writing year to date total: 4,714 words

Drawing/painting last week: Completed 2 paintings last week for a total of 34 linear inches. Also finished repairing the canvas for “In Living Color,” my lotus in the clouds painting.

Audio: I spent almost 4 hours recording and editing audio, all of which I’m probably pitching out. I might be able to salvage the voices — we shall see.





Thoughts on Write, Publish, & Market Like a Boss

I am often asked how someone can get their book published. Or I get asked, “What advice would you give someone writing a book?”

Most people don’t want the real answer: finish the book you’re writing first.

Just finishing the book (whether fiction or non-fiction) is usually the most challenging for anyone. See, it seems simple to sit down and write a book. If you just leave the bull your mind will try to feed you at the door, yes, it is that simple. However, most people can’t do that; the myths that an artist must suffer for their art is just too alluring, especially to those who like the idea of writing but don’t actually want to write. So, I always tell the inquirer to write the book first.

Surprisingly (not!), no one has every come back to me and said, “Okay, I wrote the book, now what?”

For a long time I wished that I’d had something I could tell people to go read and it would help them answer a lot of questions on their journey, including step 1: writing the book.

Now I do.

Enter Write, Publish, and Market Like a Boss.

I picked up this set because I really wanted to listen to Market Like a Boss, but the price on the audio for all three was irresistible.

I did listen to most of it at double speed. I found the narrator painfully slow at regular speed and 1.5 speed was about what I considered normal reading speech. At double speed, I felt like he was really at 1.5 speed.

Since I’ve been writing nearly all my life and have published 25 titles, I wasn’t certain there would be much information there for me. I was surprised that I did find a few nuggets of good information — you can always learn something. Besides, it was a good pep talk for me too.

Continue reading

Feeling a little bad today

I love writing about courageous characters. I have such a longing for people to be virtuous.

But every now and then, I like to look deeper into the mind of something gone wrong. Of course, novihomidraks (humans born of the dragon) are generally so noble, that when things go wrong with them, it gets a little bad, which can be fun. It also gives me great insights into their world.

Let’s go take a look at two of them.

Continue reading

When they want more!

Let's Make a Deal

The above quote came from my first reader in her email back to me on the book. Oh, she had other questions for me too, one’s that actually tied into another short story she’d read earlier. Suddenly I saw the two stories tied together. And that, quite frankly, opened up my head for working in Cirvel’s story. Yeah, the potential to be part of something bigger — just put that in the hopper. Now, I haven’t tied this story to any of the others, yet, but that’s not saying it won’t happen. If readers keep telling me they want more… *grin* …yeah, I’m up for it.

Unless we’re talking about The Last Ant. Nope, that was a catharsis story and I’m done with it. (She says now, until she decides to go for it or I make her. — Love, Loki) *wink*